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Tofu Katsu Onigirazu -- Tofu Cutlet Rice Sandwich

Tofu Katsu Onigirazu (Tofu Cutlet Rice Sandwich)

Japanese rice "sandwiches" stuffed with tofu katsu (breaded and fried pieces of tofu) with a sweet and tangy, savory sauce.

Servings 8
Author Rachael Hutchings, www.lafujimama.com


For the Tofu Katsu:

  • 2 tablespoons cassava flour (all-purpose flour would also work)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 cup panko (regular or gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (I use Redmond Real Salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package (16 ounces) Nasoya Organic Super Firm Tofu

For the Onigirazu:

  • 5 1/3 cups steamed Japanese rice (often labeled Calrose rice or sushi rice), tossed with several pinches of fine grain sea salt
  • 8 sheets nori (seaweed)
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (you can use pre-shredded coleslaw mix is well!)
  • 1/2 cup katsu sauce, plus more for drizzling or dipping, if desired
  • 3 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds, optional


Make the Tofu Katsu:

  1. Place the cassava flour, soy milk, and panko in 3 separate bowls.  Season the flour with the salt, onion powder, and black pepper.

  2. Cut the tofu into 8 (1/2-inch thick) slices, so you have small rectangles.  Pat them dry with a paper towel.

  3. Place a piece of tofu in the flour, making sure each side is well coated, then do the same in the milk and then the panko.  Gently shake off the excess breadcrumbs and set aside.  Repeat with the remaining pieces of tofu.

  4. To make in an air fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line the basket with parchment paper.  Cook the tofu in 2 batches, 4 -- 5 minutes on each large side, or until golden brown.

  5. To make on the stove: Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil (I prefer avocado oil) in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, place the breaded tofu in, one or two pieces at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Fry on each side for a few minutes until golden brown, using tongs or cooking chopsticks to carefully flip the tofu pieces over.  Place the tofu pieces on layers of paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

Make the Onigirazu:

  1. Lay out a square of plastic wrap that is larger than the sheets of nori on a clean work surface. Put one sheet of the nori, rough side facing up, with one of the corners pointing towards you, on top of the plastic wrap.

  2. Put 1/3 cup of the steamed rice in the middle of the plastic wrap and spread it out into a square that measures approximately 4 inches by 4 inches and lightly pat it down. (Shape the square so that the corners are pointing towards the sides of the nori, not the corners of the nori.)

  3. Place one piece of the tofu katsu on top of the rice.  Spread 1 tablespoon of katsu sauce over the tofu, then top it with 1/4 cup of shredded cabbage, then add another 1/3 cup of the steamed rice to the top of the stack, pressing gently so that it stays in place.

  4. Starting with the left corner of the nori, bring it up and over the rice stack and hold it with your finger. Take the right corner of the nori and fold it so that it overlaps slightly with the first corner. Continue folding with the bottom and top corners until the rice stack is completely wrapped in the nori. Set it aside for 5 minutes.

  5. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. At this point the onigirazu are ready to eat or be packed into a bento. If you want them to be more visually appealing, carefully unwrap them and cut them in half with a sharp knife, then wrap each half separately in plastic wrap.  Include a small container of extra katsu sauce for dipping.

  6. If you are going to serve the immediately, cut them in half and place them cut side up on a plate or serving platter.  Drizzle each cut side with a bit of extra katsu sauce and sprinkle them with toasted black sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

*You can use store-bought katsu sauce, or make your own!  I have a delicious Pomegranate Molasses Katsu Sauce recipe here on lafujimama.com.